English composer, conductor and teacher George William John Benjamin was born in London on 31 January 1960. He began writing music aged seven, and began studying piano and composition with Peter Gellhorn. Later, Gelhorn arranged for Benjamin, now aged fifteen, to study with Olivier Messiaen in Paris. After this, he studied with Alexander Goehr and Robin Holloway at Cambridge University.
In 1980, while he was still a student, his orchestral work Ringed by the Flat Horizon was performed at the BBC Proms in London.
His output includes orchestral, ensemble, chamber and instrumental music, plus four operas, all to texts by British playwright Martin Andrew Crimp.
Echoes of Oblivion by Robert McCarney - Sound Below Zero
CD Spotlight. The Sound Frontier - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to music for orchestra and electronics by Nicola Sani. '... of undoubted interest to all those who explore the new frontiers of sound.'
CD Spotlight. A Tradition Still Alive - Gerald Fenech listens to Advent carols from King's College London. 'A hugely beautiful issue, full of inspiring singing and emotional joy, performed with fine control, impressive depth of tone and a dynamic range that commands one's admiration from start to finish.'
Ensemble. Vaguely Supernatural - George Benjamin's 'Lessons in Love and Violence' at Covent Garden, heard by Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Unmistakably French - 'Les Nuits d'Eté', heard by Giuseppe Pennisi from Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Ensemble. Political Overtones - George Benjamin's 'Into the Little Hill', reviewed by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Cuts and Dissolves - Music by Turnage, Rihm and Benjamin, reviewed by Carson Cooman. '... a well-planned listening experience ...'